If you are new to the guitar or have been playing for a while, you would like to find a guitar teacher to improve your playing. We have you covered. The following information will help you choose the right guitar tutor from the following two options, online or in-person.
Learning to play the guitar is not easy, especially as a beginner. You may have asked yourself, do I need a guitar teacher? No, not necessarily; however, we do recommend that you seek out a qualified guitar tutor regardless for many reasons.
Why do you need a guitar teacher?
An experienced guitar teacher can make your guitar learning journey much more manageable. A good guitar teacher will monitor your progress and make the learning journey more pleasurable. Furthermore, by opting for an experienced guitar tutor, you will learn in much less time than if you choose to learn independently.
What about cost
As with almost any professional service, learning the guitar has a cost. Time is money, and life is short; depending on your playing goals, playing a few chords for the family and friends can be achieved in a relatively short time.
Be aware learning to play the guitars will take some time. How long, well, it may be measured in years if your goal is to be an intermediate or advanced player.
Learning the guitar in person or online
At this point, you may be wondering, should I seek out a teacher in my local area, or should I learn online? Don’t worry; we will explain. Yeh, with so many options, we understand why you might be confused about the best way forward into the future. Let’s look at this step by step by considering all the options and pros and cons.
Your playing goals
First things first, you will need to know your playing goals are? Perhaps you are not quite sure; that’s ok. However, we think you have to think about what you want from playing the guitar.
E.g., a few cowboy chords for a singalong with family or friends, or much more, perhaps?
Try to envisage the level of playing skills you want to achieve? Perhaps you dream about playing in the style of a famous guitar player.
That’s a good thing as it’s a goal. Having a goal will help you and your guitar teacher plan a learning path, hopefully realizing that goal in time.
Think of it as a roadmap because, effectively, that’s what it is.
Playing goals may change.
Yes, of course, your goals may change. It can happen, either way, your current enthusiasm may diminish, or you might not stick with it at all. On a more positive note, you may fall in love with the instrument to a level where it becomes a passion; it happens.
Consider the time you have to play.
Yeh, we are stating the obvious, you need time to play the guitar. Learning to play and regular practice takes time. Time is a valuable asset; you won’t want to waste it. Is your goal to learn to play and practice efficiently? Do you want the quickest path to playing the guitar in the manner you want?
“People have used my songs and guitar style to teach guitar for a long time.” James Taylor
A professional and experienced teacher will help you achieve your playing skills in the shortest possible time. However, it’s essential to keep in mind “a good guitar player may not necessarily be a good guitar teacher.”
How to find a good guitar teacher
If you haven’t done so already, make a mental note of what we have said, or write them down. Regardless of which method you choose to learn playing the guitar, be precise in your mind about what you would like to achieve.
The importance of a good guitar teacher
Finding a great guitar teacher is vital. A good teacher will implement a plan to suit your guitar playing goals. A good teacher will construct a program to help you achieve your guitar-playing goals in the shortest possible time.
What about guitar practice?
Now you knew this was coming. If you desire to play the guitar, you must practice. Here’s the thing that you MUST get right; it’s practice. Be positive in your mind about practice. Get it wrong, and it can be a waste of energy. A dedicated guitarist will embrace practice when performed correctly; Practice will progressively make you a better player and remember playing a musical instrument is good for the brain.
Guitar lessons |important considerations
As we have already said, learning to play the guitar ideally will follow a predefined structure tailor-made for you. However, we recommend considering what style or styles you would like to learn and then following a set practice routine to realize that goal. This is where a good guitar teacher helps immensely.
Some thoughts for consideration
The following are the recommendations we suggest you need to consider before choosing a guitar teacher, regardless of whether or not you choose to learn online or in person.
Guitar playing styles
Decide the style of playing you would like to learn; here are some examples of what we mean;
1. Rhythm guitar: commonly employed in a multiperson setting such as a duo or band.
2. Lead guitar: Lead is the main riff or melody line in many forms of music. Rock, Blues, Metal, Jazz are typical examples. Again as is the case with playing rhythm guitar, lead guitar is a component of a multiperson playing setting.
3. Fingerstyle: Many variations are commonly known as fingerstyle or fingerpicking. As the name implies, it is a playing style where the guitarist will employ some or all of the fingers and thumb with the playing hand—commonly used in various music genres.
You may wish to stick with just one playing style, or perhaps more. It’s essential to think this through so that the guitar teacher can implement a learning plan for you. And sure, you can change your mind later, be sure to discuss your thoughts with your teacher. Spend some time chatting with your guitar teacher. It will be time and money well spent.
Think carefully about how much time you can devote to practice. Yeh, things can change, and practice times vary depending on your circumstances. Try to estimate the minimum time available to you. The more time you have to practice, the sooner you will improve.
Guitar teachers online vs. in person
There is no shortage of online teachers with websites offering guitar tutorials. Many have a YouTube channel to demonstrate their abilities and often provide free tutorials.
Both have their advantages and disadvantages. As we have already said, regardless of which method you choose, be clear in your mind about what you wish to achieve.
A high level of playing competency will take time. Be sure to discuss with your teacher what your longtime guitar-playing desires are.
For this tutorial, we have categorized guitar teachers into two types. In the same room, person to person, or online. Let’s consider the pros and cons for each category type.
Guitar teachers in person
- A reputable and experienced guitar teacher can offer formal learning and practice instruction that suits the requirements for the guitar student’s preferred style.
- Nothing beats the personalized attention of a dedicated and professional instructor.
- Being in the same room allows the guitar teacher to observe the student at close quarters and various angles.
- The guitar teacher can confirm the student is performing any given task correctly, both aurally and visually.
- The guitar teacher can see and hear the student as they play.
- Issues such as string buzz and general playing dynamics are easy to assess when teacher and student are in the same room.
- Live sessions with a teacher may be one-on-one or as a group.
Learning with others offers the ability to watch and learn from others in the group.
Meeting other players often leads to ongoing and enduring friendships with other guitar students.
- On average, one guitar teacher for a small group of students. Group learning is cheaper.
Becoming accustomed to playing guitars with one more guitarist has many advantages.
- It’s fun, and you learn the importance of timing—an essential skill regardless of playing as a duo or in a band setting.
- One guitar teacher for a group diminishes one to one time with the guitar tutor.
Guitar teachers | considerations & questions you need to ask
IMPORTANT NOTE: A great guitar player does not necessarily mean a great teacher.
- They should have a good understanding of music theory and structure.
- Ideally, the teacher will have the ability to teach a wide variety of playing styles.
- The teacher will have a passion for playing and teaching the guitar.
- Having a passion for something is often infectious and may motivate you as a student.
- Lots of patience.
- Be willing to listen to the student’s needs and formulate a teaching plan
- Don’t be shy about asking for recommendations.
Guitar teacher in-person pros and cons.
- The teacher can see and hear your play.
- The teacher can determine when you can progress or need more practice.
- Person-to-person learning might not suit your budget.
- Traveling to and from the teacher’s abode might deter your motivation.
- Your location may not have a qualified guitar teacher close to where you live.
Online guitar tutorials
There are a gazillion online resources for learning the guitar online. Many are career guitar players who are excellent teachers and communicators. The nature of online lends itself to reviewing each one carefully.
We believe learning to play the guitar with a teacher one-on-one in person is the optimum method to play guitar.
However, in no way do we wish to downplay the conveniences of learning with a teacher as a one-to-one online via video. There are numerous highly skilled and qualified guitar teachers to be found online.
Lastly, learning to play guitar via set courses should not be dismissed. The disadvantage of online guitar courses is the inability of the student to ask questions or the ability to demonstrate techniques when required. The upshot is you can follow the course at your convenience.
Online learning pros and cons.
- Very convenient and allows you to choose the learning time that suits you. It can be cost-effective.
- Online learning allows you to choose when and even where; to participate in the tutorials.
- There may not be an opportunity to ask questions as they arise.
- The teacher may not see or hear you play (unless, of course, the session is live).
We believe that live person to person is the ideal option to learn to play guitar in most cases. We assume that the teacher is an experienced and competent tutor for guitar. An online solution is perfect when a teacher cannot be in the same room. Regardless of which method you choose, be clear in your mind about your goals.
Enjoy your guitar journey with the millions of others who have been learning the guitar.
The truth is you will never stop learning.
I have used a number of face to face guitar teachers, and unfortunately didn’t get the type of service I expected. Most don’t have, or didn’t formulate a specific plan to suit an individuals needs. although most are quite good guitar players, I found there seemed to be a “wing and see” approach, where as I like a structured step by step approach.
I have found there are many online course’s providing well structured plans and advice, with all the necessary supports, including download’s that can be jam tracks, PDF’s, Etc.
If you can find a teacher that can tick all the boxes, then you are very lucky.
Hi Russell, thank you for your comment. I’m sorry your experiences with guitar teachers wasn’t what it should have been. I think some of the problems are that some guitar teachers who are great players believe that qualifies them to be a teacher.
Nothing could be further from the truth. I have experienced teachers myself, great players, and very nice people. Are they good teachers? Not always.
One of my teachers taught me to read music, the instruction he gave me was very organized and disciplined. If memory serves me correctly, we followed a book from the Berklee College of Music. He taught me a skill that I will always be grateful for. As you have said, “If you can find a teacher that can tick all the boxes, then you are very lucky.” An element of luck is involved that’s for sure. If you live in a small town as opposed to a larger town or city, the chance of finding a good teacher is minimal. Cheers…..Pete